Grammar Quandary: Affect Versus Effect

Affect Vs. Effect

We previously explored then and than, and now we’re diving into another pair of words that trip up many a blogger. Prepare to venture into the conflict between affect and effect.

The primary rule of thumb when it comes to affect and effect is the following:

Affect is a verb.

Effect is a noun.

Knowing this will generally get you through most confusion between these two words. Effect is occasionally used as a verb, as a synonym for “to cause/bring about.” However, it’s not as commonly used as the noun form and is still not interchangeable with “affect.”

I.E. vs. E.G.: How to Keep Them Straight

I.E. vs. E.G

We all have our pet peeves when it comes to writing. Maybe you hate the Oxford comma. Maybe you loathe the misuse of the ellipsis. As an editor, I’m supposed to have a lot of writing pet peeves, but one of my biggest is the interchanging of e.g. and i.e. I’m here to tell you once and for all that the two are not the same.

What the Heck is an Em Dash?

— What the Heck is an Em Dash —

And now, another punctuation term that you probably have never heard before: the em dash.

Truthfully, I was ignorant of the em dash until Joe first approached me about a punctuation post.

So I did what any educated American would do and went straight to Wikipedia. Here’s what I learned.

The Poor, Misunderstood Semicolon

semicolon

Sadly, many writers have a confused relationship with the semicolon, not really sure how or when to use semicolons in their lovely sentences. Don’t worry, little semicolon. Your virtues will not be lost on this audience as long as I have a say in it.

What Is a Comma Splice? And Why Do Editors Hate Them?

How to Make Your Editor Hate You: Splice Your Commas

We’re venturing into a realm where writers bend the rules of grammar in the name of creativity, but to the great frustration of editors. A comma splice is one of the most easily avoidable grammatical travesties.

How To Use an Ellipsis… Correctly

How To Use an Ellipsis... Correctly

Here at the Write Practice, we have love for all punctuation marks: commas, semicolons, question marks. Today we’re discussing that trio of periods that make up the ellipsis.

What’s an ellipsis?

Why You Need to be Using the Oxford Comma

the oxford comma

Most of the fun of writing is using your words to tell a story. They course across the page, delighting in the joys of Maureen finally finding her Henry, shuddering as Ingrid uncovers her third dead body of the day, or mourning with Carlos for his lost mother. But I’m not here to talk about words. I’m here to sing the praises of punctuation; specifically, the Oxford comma.

Most people I’ve met have no idea what the Oxford comma is, but it’s probably something that you have used in the past. What is it?

When to Discard the Three-Act Story Structure

When to Discard the Three-Act Story Structure

There are times to follow the rules of story, and there are times to break the rules. When should you use the three-act story structure, and when should you discard it entirely?

When the Real World Intrudes on Your Story

When the Real World Intrudes on Your Story

Remember The Brady Bunch? It was a show before my time, but I was an avid Nick at Nite watcher in my teenage years, so I became very familiar with The Brady Bunch, Three’s Company, and Happy Days.

I watched the Brady Bunch movies of the 90s, and sometimes dreamed of being Marcia Brady (although I had a crush on Peter pre-fro), but apparently there was an additional member of the Brady clan who never showed their face on the episodes that I watched.

His name was Cousin Oliver, and he ruined The Brady Bunch.

When You’re Stuck, Write What You Know

Write What You Know

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I finished watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. The show comes from the mind of Tina Fey, and it reminded me a lot of her previous show, 30 Rock. Both shows share the same sense of humor, and take place in New York City, where Fey spent a significant chunk of her career writing for Saturday Night Live. While UKS takes its storylines and cues from the “fish-out-of-water” line of storytelling, 30 Rock is undeniably right from Fey’s personal experience with SNL.

Tina Fey’s new show is a prime example of a show-runner/writer writing what she knows.